A panel discussion on raising third parties' investments into the digital infrastructure development in the power industry and establishment of long-term regulation rules in the industry took place in Rosseti's Territory
Mr. Vyacheslav Kravchenko, Deputy Russian Energy Minister, Mr. Vitaly Korolev, Deputy Head, Russian Federal Competition Service, Mr. Egor Prokhorov, Deputy CEO at Rosseti, Ms. Oksana Shatokhona, Deputy CEO, Economics, at Rosseti, and other experts attended the event.
The participants noted that successful raising of third parties' investments into the power industry is conditional upon introduction of and compliance with the new regulatory and legal framework.
Vyacheslav Kravchenko supported Rosseti's plans of the power grid digitalization and expressed readiness to work together in elaboration of the necessary regulatory changes. "Rosseti's digitalization project is critical and very timely. We should proceed with specific steps to implement it, bearing in mind all stakeholders' opinions", noted Deputy Energy Minister.
Mr. Vitaly Korolev told about the work the Ministry performs to eradicate discrimination in rates for Rosseti's subsidiaries and those for private local grid operators, to avoid the situations when the electricity transmission rate for the lattter is twice as high as that for the former.
"In general, we are willing to set the trend when the rates for local grid operators in the region will not exceed those for Rosseti's branches", added the official.
In the company's opinion, such approach would let Rosseti raise additional investments and implement the power grid digitalization plans.
According to Egor Prokhorov, an investor needs transparent rules to be able to understand how and when he will return the investments. Long-term contracts are important for equipment manufacturers. Rosseti cannot offer these to partners now.
"We estimate the digitalization project at RUB 1,300,000,000,000, of which we are willing to finance over 75% from our equity and borrowings. To raise the remaining 25%, the four parties should take joint efforts: grid companies, consumers, investors and the regulator I'm sure the today's discussion will lay the groundwork for our successful teamwork", said the grid holding's top manager.
Ms. Oksana Shatokhina told about the already achieved positive effects the long-term rate agreements concluded with a number of regions of Rosseti Group's presence. "Hopefully, the law enabling to expand the list of the federation constituents Rosseti will conclude long-term contracts with will be adopted by July 1, 2018. The agreements would show to investors how they could return their investments with guaranteed income", said Deputy CEO at Rosseti.
The discussion dwelled upon the rate-setting digitalization plans, so that the system will automatically calculate the fair, feasible rate for all of the electricity market participants.
Different proposals as to the public-and-private partnership in the power grid system were voiced in the speeches. As was noted, the Russian infrastructure is underfunded, but it will looks very attractive, in particular, for foreign and private investors, if these challenged are overcome. It also concerns the power grid digitalization project presented by Rosseti because the speakers agreed this upgrading would pay for itself.